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PINGO

Author: Brandon Mull

Illustrator: Brandon Dorman

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Publisher: Shadow Mountain,

Material: hard cover

Summary: As a boy, Chad had an imaginary friend: Pingo. At least he thought Pingo was imaginary. When Chad became a teen, he reminded Pingo that he didn't really exist and he made him go away. Well, imaginary friends don't go that easily. As Chad finds out they can be not-so-imaginary enemies. This is a story that offers a different twist on what happens to our imaginary friends as we grow up.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9

Interest Level: 4 to 8

Reading Level: 2.5

Age of Child: Read by an 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: This was a very quick read for our daughter, but she wanted to spend extra time going back to look at the pictures. She didn't understand the end, though, with the orderly looking in on an elderly Chad.

Adult Reader Reaction: Pingo is adorable: cute and impish, too. My thoughts on this one are mixed. It is a clever idea and I like the story, but I'm not sure who the audience is. As Chad grows up he is oohing and aahing over a girl, he is in an office, and then a nursing home. These are things the adults "get" but go beyond the kid audience.

Pros: Kids will instantly call their own imaginary friend and talk about the things they do together in this cute, well-illustrated picture book.

Cons: If your child gets their feelings hurt about his/her imaginary friend, this may not be the book for you.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a story that could be a comfort to kids who are struggling to separate from of their favorite things that are now "babyish."

If You Liked This Book, Try: BIRDIE'S BIG GIRL SHOES   ENEMY PIE   LIZZY AND SKUNK

Educational Themes: Pingo and Chad have an interesting relationship, and the story opens the door to talking about how things change as we grow up.

Notes: The Reading Tub® picked up this book at Book Expo America. There are no expectations of review associated with this book.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, fantasy, growing up

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2010

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